Newcastle defender hopes for Benitez stay
Jamaal Lascelles hopes Newcastle can convince manager Rafael Benitez to stay beyond the end of the season.
Benitez is out of contract in the summer and wants assurances he will have the transfer and wage budget to improve the squad before agreeing fresh terms.
The Spaniard is seeking a meeting with managing director Lee Charnley this week to discuss plans for the summer and his own future, and Lascelles says it would be a major blow if Benitez left the club at the end of the campaign.
"As players we want him here, but we are not in control of whatever is going on," he said. "But hopefully he gets tied down. It does worry us that he could leave. There aren't many managers like him and Newcastle United should do everything they can to keep him. He is special.
"Even at the start of the season, when everyone is panicking and we've got all those big teams to play and we find ourselves down in the bottom three, he stays so calm.
"He knows his players, he trusts his own ability to get the best out of his players and that's such an important thing for a manager to have."
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.